security control room operation

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A security control room is a common way to centralize security resources and operational activities. Security staff will almost certainly interact with a security control room or work within one themselves.

security-control-room

Purpose of security control Room 

A security control room brings together the elements of a security operation and offers a logical way to coordinate the effects of security systems, personnel and response options. A security control room containing monitoring and control systems can commonly be found in

  • Hotels
  • Banks
  • Shopping Malls
  • Industrial sites
  • Airports
  • Ports

Laws and regulations

The law and regulation of the country may require the control room should meet some defined criteria. All of the control room has installed the CCTV monitors and data storage facility.

Stander control room describe;

  • Coverage areas for CCTV in various facilities
  • Technical requirements of installed equipment
  • Design, approval and integration processes
  • Security system inspection requirements
  • Documentation and logs required

Control room design 

The design and construction of a security control room is not the responsibility of Security guards, however, understanding the basic elements will help in comprehending the bigger picture of providing security to a site;

control-room-design

Integration of the technology

A central security control room provides an opportunity to monitor a variety of technologies and systems. Advances in technology mean that there is a great amount of information that can be viewed easily and quickly through an integrated system.

  1. CCTV
      •  Analog systems
      • Digital I.P cameras
      • Digital Video Recorders
      • Pan, Tilt and Zoom cameras
      • Motion triggered o Night vision capable
      • Thermal vision capable
      • Automatic License Plate Recognition (ANPR

CCTV_Cameras

  1. Access control systems
      •  Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) badges
      • Keypads
      • Biometric systems
        • Fingerprint
        • Eye Scanner
        • Voice recognition
        • Combination
      • Electro-magnetic locks (remote release)
      • Vehicle barriers & gates (remote release)

access-control-system

  1. Building management systems (BMS)
      • Fire alarm and suppression
      • Elevator controls
      • Emergency intercom
      • Return to ground
      • Heating, venting, and cooling (HVAC)
      • Gas sensors and alarms

building-management-system

  1. Security alarms and sensors
      • Perimeter intrusion detection
        • Microwave beam
        • Infrared beam
        • Vibration sensor
      • Door alarms
        • Forced entry
        • Tamper alarm
      • Arming and disarming of systems
        • System information
          • Location of alarms
          • Time and date
          • Zones breached

alarm-and-sensor

  1. Public address systems
      •  Internal communication (intercom)
      • Building speakers
      • Site public address speakers

public-address-system

The number of systems and technologies available are wide-ranging, and control room staff will need to become familiar with the specific systems installed at the site or building where they work.

Physical design considerations

The location within a building or site and the floorplan and layout of the control room are not the responsibility of a security guard, however, understanding the design considerations will improve the situational awareness of security staff.

control-room-plan

Location The placement of a control room may impact the performance of security for the site. For example:

  • Centrally located o more protected by layers of security o reduced response times to all areas
  • Near site perimeter
      • Ease of access for contractors and essential services
      • More vulnerable to external threats
  • Co-located with reception area
      • Suitable for low threat environments
      • Organizational management response may be faster o Confidentiality may be compromised due to public access

Room layout

The internal design and placement of desks, screens, doors, windows and other equipment will impact the usability of the efficiency of the control room. For example

  • Spacing and location of desks
      • The open plan allows good communication
      • Improve teamwork and collaboration
      • Consider OHS hazards
  • Access points
      • Access door positioned away from public zones or reception
      • Should be “air locked” to prevent tailgating through the door o May require emergency exit/alternate access points
  • CCTV monitoring screens
      • Should be positioned on desks, not on walls o Maximum of 3 screens per desk
      • o Placed 3 times the distance of the screen diagonal from the user
  • Supervisor positioning
      • Located for best situational awareness within the control room
      • Optimized for communication with control room staff
  • Windows
      • Depending on security requirements
      • 1-way or 2-way viewing
      • Safety glass – smash resistant
      • Opening or fixed

Each of the design elements may be present in the construction of a security control room, and knowledge of why they are implemented will help the Security staff to better understand the overall picture of security at their site.

Security and access control in the security control room

Controlling who has the ability to enter the control room is of high importance. Critical and sensitive information and activities are exposed within the control room, and only those who need to know should be able to access the room.

Access control can be achieved through a variety of systems and control measures including Staff permissions

  • A maintained list of who can enter the control room
  • Limited to only those who need access
  • Regularly updated and monitored Visitor access control
  • Written policy and procedures for allowing visitor access
      • Must have a valid reason for a visit
      • Must be authorized by a manager
  • Escorting visitors inside the control room
      • Visitor ID should be issued, to let others know they are authorized to be there
      • A member of the Security staff must be responsible for the visitor
      • Visitors must not be left alone
  • Visitor access log completed
  • Restrict information on the display while visitors are present
      • Blackout large CCTV displays
      • Reduce the volume of the radio
      • Ensure documentation and reports are kept out of view Physical entry control
  •  Use electronic security locks
  • Access badges issued to authorized staff
  • The system keeps a record of staff entries and exits
  • Use a small reception area within the control room to screen people coming in and out
  • A biometric access system could also be used as a secondary security layer e.g. o Fingerprint reader o Eye scanner

It is vitally important that the security of the control room is maintained, as it is the center of all security operations for a site or even multiple sites.

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